The chemical characteristics of composted and vermicomposted cotton residues case study in Sudan

Date03 October 2012
Pages325-336
Published date03 October 2012
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/20425941211271522
AuthorElkhtab Mohamed Abdalla,Sulieman Hammad Nasser Ali,Sarra Ahmed Mohamed Saad,Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim
The chemical characteristics of
composted and vermicomposted
cotton residues case study
in Sudan
Elkhtab Mohamed Abdalla
Environmental and Natural Resources Research Institute,
National Center for Research, Khartoum, Sudan
Sulieman Hammad Nasser Ali
Department of Soil and Environment Sciences, University of Khartoum,
Khartoum, Sudan
Sarra Ahmed Mohamed Saad
Environmental and Natural Resources Research Institute,
National Center for Research, Khartoum, Sudan, and
Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim
Department of Soil and Environment Sciences, University of Khartoum,
Khartoum, Sudan
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of two decomposition processes,
namely, composting and vermicomposting, on the chemical composition of the finished products
of a mixture of: cotton residues; soil and cotton residues; farmyard; soil.
Design/methodology/approach – Composting experiments were done over six months to prepare
four different mixtures as follows: cotton residuesþsoil (C); cotton residues þsoil þearthworms
(C þE); cotton residues þsoil þfar myard manure (C þF); and cotton residues þsoil þfarmyard
manure þearthworms (C þFþE). Electrical conductivity, pH, nitrate-N, ammonium-N, ash, total
phosphorus, total nitrogen, total organic carbon, carbon: nitrogen ratio, total potassium and trace
elements (Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn) were determined on monthly-based samples.
Findings – Significant differences (po0.05) in organic carbon, nitrate-N, nitrogen, phosphorus, and
potassium content were recorded in vermicompost compared to comp ost. In general, results indicated
that vermicompost had a significant effect compared to compost and a positive effect on the chemical
properties of the finished products.
Originality/value – This research work was carried out by four researchers from two institutions
concerned with agricultural production and environmental aspects related to soil productivity. The
paper emphasizes on production of organic fertilizers with good quality and monitoring of composting
process for better management practices of agricultural wastes in Sudan.
Keywords Sudan, Soil mechanics, Cotton, Cotton residues, Farmyard manure, Composting,
Vermicomposting
Paper type Case study
Introduction
Sudan is one of the two largest countries in Africa; it covers an area of about
1,881,000 km
2
after separation of South Sudan. The arable land constitutes about
one-third of the total area of the country (Higher Council of Environment and Natural
Resources, 2003).
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/2042-5945.htm
WorldJour nal of Science, Technology
and Sustainable Development
Vol. 9 No.4, 2012
pp. 325-336
rEmeraldGroup Publishing Limited
2042-5945
DOI 10.1108/20425941211271522
325
Characteristics of
cotton residues

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